Over 50 WTO countries voice support for Ukraine


Ukraine retains control of the Azot chemical plant in Sievierodonetsk, where hundreds of civilians are sheltering after a Russian-backed separatist claimed 300-400 Ukrainian fighters were also trapped in the conflict zone , which is now in its 109th day.

Ukrainian servicemen fire a BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launcher system near the town of Lysychansk, Luhansk region. (Reuters)

Sunday, June 12, 2022

WTO ministers: blocking access to the Black Sea jeopardizes food supply

More than 50 trade ministers attending the World Trade Organization ministerial meeting in Geneva issued a statement in support of beleaguered Ukraine and its ability to trade, stressing the importance of keeping markets open and predictable.

The ministers issued the statement on the opening day in Geneva of the first meeting of trade ministers in five years, an event which has been repeatedly postponed from June 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

They expressed their deep sadness “at the devastating loss of life and the deep suffering caused by the aggression against Ukraine”, supporting the resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly which condemned the offensive launched by Russia on 24 february.

Moscow-backed officials seek to consolidate power in Ukraine

Kremlin-backed officials in occupied southern Ukraine marked Russia Day and began issuing Russian passports to residents of a city who requested them, as Moscow sought to consolidate its authority on the captured parts of the country.

In one of the central squares of the city of Kherson, Russian bands performed a concert to celebrate Russia Day, the holiday that marks Russia’s emergence as a sovereign state after the collapse of the Soviet Union, according to the Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

In neighboring Zaporizhzhia, Moscow-backed officials raised a Russian flag in downtown Melitopol. Ukrainian media reported that few, if any, local residents attended Russia Day festivities in both cities. In addition, the Russian-aligned administration in Melitopol began distributing Russian passports to those applying for Russian citizenship.

Pro-Russian separatists uphold death sentences for foreigners

A pro-Russian separatist leader in eastern Ukraine has said he will not change death sentences handed down to two Britons and a Moroccan for fighting with the Ukrainian army.

“They came to Ukraine to kill civilians for money. That’s why I don’t see any conditions for any mitigation or modification of the sentence,” Denis Pushilin, the head of the separatist region of Ukraine, told reporters. Donetsk, who judged them.

Pushilin said the court “gave a perfectly fair sentence” to the three fighters. He also accused British Prime Minister Boris Johnson of ignoring their plight and failing to contact separatist authorities.

Second Briton killed fighting for Ukraine

A former British soldier has been shot and killed in Ukraine, his family have said, praising him as a “hero”.

Jordan Gatley is the second Briton believed to have died fighting alongside Ukrainian forces against Russian troops.

In a Facebook post, his father, Dean Gatley, said his son left the British Army in March and went to Ukraine “after careful consideration”. Gatley said his son was killed in the eastern city of Sievierodonetsk, which came under heavy Russian attack.

Pro-Ukrainian demonstration in Belgrade, the Serbian capital

A pro-Ukrainian demonstration took place in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia.

It was organized near the famous Moskva Hotel in one of Belgrade’s main squares by a group called Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians and Serbs Against Conflict.

Carrying Serbian and Ukrainian flags, protesters condemned Russia’s actions in Ukraine and called for an immediate end to the offensive.

End of NATO military exercise in the Baltic Sea

Billed as the largest military exercise ever held in the Baltic Sea, NATO’s Baltops 22 exercise ended on the Swedish island of Gotland with the participation of member and partner nations.

Among the participating nations were Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Turkey , the United Kingdom and the United States.

The participation of Sweden and Finland was notable, as both countries applied to join the alliance, spurred by Russia’s ongoing offensive in Ukraine, which began on February 24.

Dozens of bodies of Ukrainian fighters from Azovstal are still in Mariupol: former commander

The bodies of dozens of Ukrainian fighters killed in the siege of the Azovstal steel plant in the southern city of Mariupol are still awaiting recovery, the former commander of the Ukrainian National Guard Azov regiment said.

Maksym Zhorin said that according to a recent exchange, about 220 bodies of people killed in Azovstal had already been sent to Kyiv, but “there are still as many bodies left in Mariupol”.

“Discussions continue on new exchanges, to bring all bodies home. Absolutely all bodies must be returned and this is something we will work on,” Zhorin added in a video posted on his Telegram channel. .

UK says Russia is using its force to seize Sievierodonetsk territory

Russia is using its superior balance of power and artillery to gradually seize territory in and around Sievierodonetsk in Ukraine, the UK Ministry of Defense has said.

Russia likely began preparing to deploy the third battalion of some combat formations in recent weeks, the ministry said in its latest intelligence update posted on Twitter.

Ukrainian grain exports via Poland and Romania face bottlenecks

Ukraine has established two routes through Poland and Romania to export grain and avert a global food crisis, though bottlenecks have slowed the supply chain, the deputy foreign minister said. kyiv.

Dmytro Senik said global food security was at risk because Russia’s offensive in Ukraine had halted Black Sea grain exports from kyiv, causing widespread shortages and soaring prices.

Ukraine is the world’s fourth largest grain exporter and it claims that there are around 30 million tonnes of grain stored on Ukrainian territory which it tries to export by road, river and rail.

Large Western Weapons Depot Destroyed in Ukraine: Russia

Russian forces fired Kalibr cruise missiles to destroy a major US and European weapons depot in Ukraine’s Ternopil region, Interfax reported, citing the Russian Defense Ministry.

Russian forces also shot down three Ukrainian SU-25 fighter jets near Donetsk and Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine, Interfax said citing the Russian Defense Ministry.

Many injured in Russian strike in western Ukraine: governor

At least 22 people were injured when Russia struck the Ukrainian town of Chortkiv, the regional governor said, marking a rare attack in the west of the country.

“Yesterday at 7:46 p.m. (4:45 p.m. GMT) Chortkiv was hit by four missiles, all fired from the Black Sea,” Volodymyr Trush said in a Facebook post, adding that all the injured had been hospitalized.

Fighting rages in Sievierodonetsk

Fierce fighting raged in Sievierodonetsk, but the region’s governor said Ukraine still controlled an industrial zone and a chemical plant in the east of the city where hundreds of civilians are sheltering from relentless Russian shelling.

A Russian-backed separatist group claimed on Saturday that 300 to 400 Ukrainian fighters were also trapped at the Azot plant. Earlier, Governor Serhiy Gaidai acknowledged that Russian forces now controlled most of the small town in Luhansk province, and said the Russian shelling of the factory had sparked a large fire after a leak of oil. It was unclear whether the fire was still burning on Sunday.

In neighboring Donetsk province to the west, Russian media reported that a huge cloud of smoke could be seen after an explosion in the town of Avdiivka, which is home to another chemical plant. Sievierodonetsk has become the epicenter of the battle in eastern Ukraine for control of the industrialized Donbass region, made up of Luhansk and Donetsk provinces.

Beijing opposes arming Russia against Ukraine — China

China has never provided material support to Russia in the Ukraine crisis, Defense Minister Wei Fenghe said at the Shangri-La Dialogue security summit in Singapore.

The Chinese defense minister made a point of saying that China supports the peace talks and opposes “the supply of arms, applying maximum pressure”.

“What is the root cause of this crisis? Who is the mastermind behind this? Who is losing the most? And who has the most to gain? Who is promoting peace and who is adding fuel to the fire? I think we know all the answers to these questions,” he said, without answering them or stating China’s position.

For live updates from Saturday (June 11), click here

Source: TRTWorld and agencies


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